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If you have a missing persons emergency...

DO NOT panic. If you stay calm, you will be better able to assist us in the initial phases of preparing for a search operation!

DO read this page! It is EXTREMELY important to have the following information ready when you place your call for help!!

DO be prepared:

  • Have one or more clear, preferably color, photos, if possible.

  • Have a description of the missing person(s) ready when you call.
    • It is VERY important to include what the person(s) was wearing when last seen. Also include hair, skin, and eye color, age, height, build, etc.
      • Include scars, birthmarks, piercings, tattoos, or other distinguishing marks.
    • Include any articles the person(s) may have on them, including glasses, jewelry, hat, belt, wallet, money, even gum, candy, drinks they might be carrying, as these things may be important during the search.

  • Let the Forest Rangersknow where the person(s) was last seen.
    • Did the person(s) leave a note telling where he/she would be?
    • Does the person(s) have a favorite place that he/she likes to go to? (library, bars, parks, etc.)

  • How was the person(s) travelling? On foot, in a vehicle, on a bike....?
    • Give as complete a description of any bikes, motorcycles, or cars/trucks as possible!
      • Ex., color, make, and model of car. License plate numbers, or specific decals on the vehicle, etc.

  • Does the person(s) have any medical, mental, or physical conditions that the Search Team should be aware of?
    • Alzheimers, diabetes, allergies - these, and others, are all important for the Search Team to be aware of during the search, and to better help your loved one when he/she is found.
    • Provide a list of medications the individual is taking, what each is for, and the names of the prescribing doctors.

  • Provide searchers with a list of telephone contacts and how those individuals are related to the missing person(s).


Who do I call?

Forest Ranger Emergency Contact - (518) 408-5850
Adirondack Region - (518)-891-0235

For fastest response time, you should call the NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Forest Rangers in whichever region your loved one has gone missing:

  • Region 1, Nassau & Suffolk Counties - (631) 444-0290

  • Region 2, Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island - (631) 444-0401

  • Region 3, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester Counties - (845) 256-3026

  • Region 4, Albany, Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Montgomery, Ostego, Rensselaer, Schenectady, and Schoharie Counties - (518) 357-2161

  • Region 5, Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Saratoga, Warren, and Washington Counties - (518) 897-1303

  • Region 6, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, and St. Lawrence Counties - (315) 785-2215 (Watertown), (315) 866-6330 (Herkimer), (315) 376-3521 (Lowville), (315) 265-3090 (Potsdam)

  • Region 7, Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego, Tioga, and Tompkins Counties - (607) 753-3095 x223

  • Region 8, Chemung, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, and Yates Counties - (716) 372-0265 (Avon), (607) 776-2165 x24 (Bath)

  • Region 9, Allegany, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Erie, Niagara, and Wyoming Counties - (716) 372-0645

You CAN call your local police and fire departments, but be aware that they will in turn call the regional DEC office, as it is they (the DEC) who have the authority, and access to trained volunteers, to run a search and rescue operation.

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Click HERE if you have a missing persons emergency!


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New York State Federation of Search and Rescue


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